It was history turning the same pages once again while I hustled my way out of the house. I could see the traffic getting heavier every step I got closer to the tricycle terminal. A deep sigh of relief was let out of my body while passengers quickly occupied the seats. It only meant my travel time would be decreased by a number of minutes. While the tricycle traversed the same old paths, I assumed the same old motions of an ordinary day. However, I always pray for an extra-ordinary day. You know what they say about the difference between extra-ordinary and ordinary? It’s that little extra and that little extra was given by Mr. Makoy that day. He let us watched this film entitled A Journey Home, a movie about forgiveness, faith, love, and God.
It’s one of the few movies that I could pretty much relate. There are movies that make you laugh, pee your pants and there are movies that simply make you cry. The movie revolves around a father who abandoned his family and came back after 20 years. He saw his wife passed away on a newspaper because of a stage 4 cancer and decided to visit her wake. His son Raffy and Raffy’s wife Gayle including his daughter were there. To cut the entire story short, Raffy was keeping a tremendous amount of anger to his father and couldn’t find a space in his heart to forgive him.
I could relate to Raffy because my father also abandoned me when I was young. At that time, I didn’t quite understand why such things had to take place. Growing up, my cluelessness gradually faded while I found my way to a deeper understanding of how life works. However, while I tried to find the reasons for my existence, I never found the reason to forgive my dad. I couldn’t recall any gesture or action from him that made me feel like he had truly loved me even for once as his son. The bitterness grew even more whenever I was reminded of his decision to abandon us like pieces of garbage; worthless and lifeless. I have so many questions to ask him, questions that I still haven’t asked until now.
I feel like, the longer these questions are left unanswered, the deeper the anger I feel. When I decided to cut my communication with him, I vowed that I would never be like my father. I would do the best I can to be a man that he never was. I swore that I would never commit the same mistakes he did. These declarations I held were blanketed with such anger and bitterness.
Just like Raffy from the movie, I tried forgiving my father but it was never a walk in the park. Just like Raffy, it’s very difficult to find the strength to say, “Hey Dad, I forgive you. I forgive you for all the mistakes you’ve done to me and to my Mom”. I knew I could say it but I could not mean it. I could say the words but they could only come from my mouth, not from my heart. I finished my elementary years, my high school years, and now that I’m about to finish college, there’s still something that’s holding me back from moving on. Well, not until I saw this movie.
The movie reminded me that it’s hard to realize that you have someone until you have already lost that someone. The movie taught me that God is not just good; he’s not just great; but his overly and extremely awesome in so many ways. I realized that God has never been absent during those hard times my family and I had to go through when my father left us. I figured that God had always been there all along, watching every reaction I made, feeling every emotion I felt, and understanding every words I prayed. While he watched me carry those burdens, he was already planning great things for me. God has always been invisible to me but his words clearly paint a picture of who he is and how much love he has for me.
Another important lesson I’ve learned from the movie is, “Most of the time, forgiveness is hard to give but it has never been and will never be impossible when you ask a little help from God.” Once forgiveness is done, healing follows.
Another realization that hit me after watching the movie is that God is very forgiving and understanding. He never looks at your bad side and only looks at your good side. He always gives chances for those who are willing to change and for those who are willing to accept him in his life.
I bet there are a lot of you out there who are still having a hard time to forgive; you don’t have to force yourself to immediately forget the short-comings of that person. You don’t have to fake it. You don’t have to say the words and not mean it in your heart. Just like love, forgiveness also takes time but we should also remember that we need to have an open mind and an open heart to give way for forgiveness. We should learn how to get rid of the anger and the seed of bitterness in our hearts to successfully move on. I know it’s easier said than done that’s why if you find it hard to do, you can always count on God for help and I promise you, you’ll never go wrong.
Photo from: www.thepastimeshelf.com